FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Heat lightning is a flash of light that you see in the night sky, but there won’t be any rain or thunder associated with it.
It’s a common theory that hot and humid conditions in the summertime produce “heat lightning.”
While this theory isn’t unexpected, it is completely false.
All lightning comes from a thunderstorm.
When you see these silent flashes of lightning, it is from a thunderstorm far off in the distance.
The thunderstorm is far enough away from you, that the sound doesn’t travel to where you are seeing that storm.
The speed of light is faster than the speed of sound.
The flash of lightning that you see basically outruns the slower sound of thunder.
You can’t have thunder without lightning, but by the time the sound would get to you, your ears can’t pick it up.
Depending on the visibility, a person can see lightning as far as 150 to even 200 miles away.
Unless you are within 10 to 15 miles of a storm, you probably won’t hear any thunder.
It is important to remember, if you hear thunder, go inside.
You are within striking distance of a thunderstorm.
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